Lake Ontario Seaway Trail Olcott Lighthouse

The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518 mile scenic drive along Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.

We’ll be focused on the portion that runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego. Check out our Google Map of locations along the Seaway Trail.

Old Fort Niagara State Park Youngstown NY
Old Fort Niagara
Hamlin Beach State Park
Hamlin Beach
Olcott Lakeview Village Shoppes
Charlotte River Street wall art railroad tracks

Western Seaway Trail

West of the Genesee River

The trail runs from Fort Niagara to Rochester mainly along Rt. 18, taking you through Youngstown, Wilson, Olcott, Oak Orchard, Hamlin, Braddock Bay, Hilton, and Charlotte.

Old Fort Niagara

Fort Niagara was active for 300 years as a strategic stronghold during the French and Indian Wars, War of 1812, American Revolutionary War, and American Civil War.

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Hamlin Beach State Park

Hamlin Beach State Park has 7 miles of beautiful biking and walking trails, including a mile-long self-guided tour of a CCC/POW camp.

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Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area

If you’re cruising on Edgemere along the ponds, or on the parkway near Manitou, you’re enjoying the Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area.

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Ontario Beach Park

Lake Ontario Beach Park is located at the northernmost tip of the city of Rochester, and is bordered on the East by the mouth of the Genesee River.

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I recommend breaking the route in two: Fort Niagara one day, Fort Ontario another. I’d also recommend enjoying the stops backwards, heading into Rochester rather than away.

Get the bulk of the long-drive out of the way in the morning and start the trip at the farthest point, bouncing your way back slowly toward Rochester. You’ll have a better gauge of your time, how you and your traveling companions are feeling, and ensure that you don’t use up your energy before a long drive home.

The great thing about a trip like this is it’s primarily slow roads passing through small farming and lakeside communities. You’ll find unique places to see, shop and eat while enjoying a relaxing day along Lake Ontario. You’ll also find a great variety of places that will entertain you, inspire you, and calm you.

Seabreeze Amusement Park Lake Ontario
Seabreeze Amusement Park
Webster Pier
Pultneyville Landing
Pultneyville Landing
Fort Ontario
Fort Ontario

Eastern Seaway Trail

East of the Genesee River

The trail runs from Fort Ontario to Rochester primarily Lake Rd (Rt 1, Rt 101) and Rt 104, taking you through Oswego, Sterling, Sodus, Huron, Pultenyville, Webster, and Seabreeze.

Chimney Bluffs State Park

The bluffs in Chimney Bluffs State Park are fragile drumlins, like all of the truncated drumlins along this section of shoreline.

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Seabreeze, Darien Lake, and Other Amusement Parks Near Rochester

When May comes around, you find the amusement parks with dry-rides opening on the weekends, with the water parks opening closer to Father’s Day in mid-June.

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Durand Eastman Park

Durand Eastman Park encompasses 977 acres of land including Durand Lake, Eastman Lake, and a swimming beach on Lake Ontario.

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Check out our Google Map of locations along the Seaway Trail.

Lake Ontario Bear Creek Boat Launch
Bear Creek – Lake Ontario

More to Explore

There are so many things to do along the Lake Ontario Seaway Trail. What you choose depends on how long you wish to explore in one area. There are parks, attractions, and farms sprinkled throughout the region.

9 Lake Ontario Lighthouses in New York

These lighthouses along Lake Ontario in New York are within a two-hour drive of Rochester. And where there’s a light there’s a sweeping view!

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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a two hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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42 Quirky Roadside Attractions

Spend a day checking out these unique and unusual roadside attractions, like shoe trees, a skeleton army, and a metal dragon, within 2 hours of Rochester.

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Summertime in Rochester

Summer produce, fresh water, and 13,500+ square miles to explore. Enjoy everything summertime in Rochester has to offer.

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9 Rochester U-Pick Seasons

There are U-Pick farms all around the Greater Rochester Area. Often times, picking your own product is as much a family adventure as it is entertainment!

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26 Incredible Creeks Around Rochester

These beautiful creeks around Rochester impact us in such subtle ways they sometimes disappear into the background of our lives.

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The Darkest Sky Near Rochester

Locations northeast of Rochester close to Lake Ontario, or south of US-20 in the Finger Lakes will offer the darkest sky near Rochester.

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Our Favorite 5 County Parks to Explore

The Monroe County Parks systems includes 20 parks that are all worth exploring, but these are the five you absolutely must see.

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Where are your favorite places along the Seaway Trail?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.